James Slipper to captain Wallabies against Wales

Tue, 16/11/2021, 07:23 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
A strong half from England secures the win for the hosts at Twickenham

The Wallabies have announced prop James Slipper will captain the side against Wales at Principality Stadium.

A spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday evening Slipper would step up in place of Michael Hooper, with the flanker ruled out of Sunday morning's (Australian time) clash with a foot injury.

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It will mark just the second time the 32-year-old will captain the side, handed the honour against the USA ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

“It’s obviously devastating losing our skipper Hoops but the boys are very excited (for Slipper), there was a big roar when we heard Slips would be captain,” flyhalf James O’Connor said on Tuesday.

“He’s one of our leaders in the leadership group. He’s been there and done that and everyone can rely on him. He’s got a very steady presence.

"It's credit to the hard work that he's put in and how much he leaves it all out there."

Slipper was forced to move to tighthead in the 32-15 defeat to England, the first time he has played in the position at Test level since 2012.

O'Connor believes this typifies his nature as a player and leader, excited to see him get the opportunity given the journey he has been on since his last stint as captain.

"We asked a lot of him (last week) and we thought we delivered big time in those patches," he added.

"He's been on that journey and someone you get around. He's very authentic, he's very himself and a great bloke. We're excited for him to lead us out.

"...He's a man of action, what he says, he'll do. He puts his body on the line and that's why we get around him.

“The job is normal for him. He’s using the guys around him that would normally speak on detail and he comes in with a bit of emotion.”

The Brumbies prop will likely move back to his preferred side of loosehead when the Wallabies confirm their side late Thursday with Taniela Tupou and Allan Alaalatoa expected to recover from concussions.

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